Ups and Downs: Week 8

Ups and Downs is a weekly feature that looks at the Sens' performances in the last week.

All hell has broken loose among the Sens' faithful. The Senators went 1-3 this week. Their shootout win against the Blues was easily their best game of the year (considering the ability of the opponents) but they were badly, badly outshot by both the Panthers and the Red Wings, and badly outscored by the Lightning. Suddenly, fans are talking more about tanking for McDavid than making the playoffs.

Biggest Gains: Erik Condra. The guy had a night to remember against the Blues, scoring three goals (of which one counted), and dominating the possession game. He proved that he belongs in the lineup, and coach rewarded him by playing him the rest of the week.

Biggest Losses: Mika Zibanejad. After Tuesday's game against the Blues, MacLean finally decided he'd seen enough. He scratched Zibanejad against the Panthers. He would've been scratched against the Lightning too if Ryan hadn't broken his finger. Looks like he'll be in tough to fight for his minutes from here on out.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Took the losses against Detroit and Florida, but wasn't to blame for either. He faced 89 shots in two games this week.
Robin Lehner Went 1-1 this week, and played well in both. He definitely has re-earned the trust of his coach, and should play about 50% of the games unless he has another bad outing.

Mark Borowiecki Had a rough night against Detroit like everybody, then a good night against St Louis like everybody. Didn't play the last two games due to injury.
Cody Ceci Had a bad overall week like the rest of the D. But at least he got his first goal of the season against Florida, and played a season-high 24:11 against St Louis.
Jared Cowen Actually not a terrible week for Cowen, as he was better-than-average for this D corps against Florida and Tampa. However, he had an abysmal 15% EV Corsi against Detroit, and that pushes him into down arrow territory.
Eric Gryba Relative possession-wise, Gryba had 3 good games and one bad one this week. He also got an assist. Most fans will remember an ill-advised pinch against Steven Stamkos that ended up in his own net though.
Erik Karlsson Tough call on Captain EK. He played 32:12 against St Louis, playing some of his most dominant hockey of the year. He also put up 3 points in 4 games. On the flip-side, he wasn't great possession-wise. I gave him the benefit of the doubt since he doesn't have a real partner.
Marc Methot WE MISS YOU
Chris Phillips Played the last two games of the week, and finished fourth-last and second-last respectively in EV Corsi %. Looks completely lost on the ice most of the time. 1.75 more seasons of Phillips promises to be atrocious.
Patrick Wiercioch Weird week for Patty W. Was good possession-wise against Detroit and Tampa, but was the only Sens player below 50% in EV Corsi against St Louis. In the end, I expect more than 1 point in 4 games. I think injuries are the only thing that allow him to remain in the lineup. When Methot's back, we may have seen the end of Wiercioch in Ottawa, and that's a down arrow in my books, whether or not his play has been as bad as coach thinks.

Alex Chiasson A possession black hole who doesn't complement Turris and MacArthur well. At least he's a big body who's better at the front of the net on the powerplay than Neil.
Erik Condra See biggest gains.
Colin Greening Found his way into two games this week, and held his own in each. Not bad for the Sens' most frequent healthy scratch so far this year.
Mike Hoffman Hoff had two points in the first two games, but then had two very rare poor possession nights in a row to follow them up. Still a mystery why he only gets 12 minutes per night.
Curtis Lazar No points, not great possession-wise, and has the occasional mishap due to inexperience. This might help his development, but for a team that's sinking fast, I think I'd prefer Jean-Gabriel Pageau in his spot.
David Legwand Was probably carried by Condra this week, but 1 G and 1 A isn't bad. Unfortunately, his powerplay goal means he's probably on the first unit for the rest of the year. Also reached 1000 career games this week.
Clarke MacArthur Poor guy seems snake-bitten. 12 shots but no goals this week. Still one of the best forwards on the team.
Milan Michalek I didn't expect him to be a healthy scratch so early into his extension. Mostly invisible this week when he did play. Strong candidate for biggest losses.
Chris Neil Don't look now, but Neil had 3 points this week and was the best even-strength possession player on the team against St Louis and Florida. I don't like that he's in the lineup, but he deserves credit for greatly exceeding expectations.
Bobby Ryan His injury couldn't have come at a worse time. Hopefully it's days, not weeks.
Z. Smith When Paul MacLean will make his favourite player a healthy scratch, you know he's not playing well.
Mark Stone Was pretty unlucky to get no points this week. In terms of puck possession, he's still one of the top forwards on the team. If Ryan is out long-term, Stone should be the beneficiary.
Kyle Turris In a terrible week for the team, Turris held his own, and even put up three points. He gets a plus from me mostly to try to make the situation look less bleak.
Mika Zibanejad See biggest losses.

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